In this section
Note: this is a past research project that is now complete.
The major aims of the PAQ are to encourage parents to utilise
further educational opportunities, to reduce family risk factors
associated with adolescent maladjustment, and to enhance family
protective factors. The PAQ program is targeted to identify family
problems at a school community level. The evening serves as an
opportunity for parents of early high school students to socialise
and share parenting experiences.
A recent development in parent education at the Centre for
Adolescent Health is the Parenting Adolescents Quiz (PAQ). The Quiz
has been designed to provide an entertaining "adult-learning"
evening where tables of parents can interact in a light-hearted
competition to answer a set of questions presented by a
quiz-leader. The PAQ questions have been carefully selected to
encourage parents to reflect on some of the major issues in
The PAQ brings parents together in tables of six to eight
people for an evening of education and entertainment. Tables
respond to a series of multiple-choice questions relevant to
adolescent health and parenting adolescents. Parents interact to
determine a table response and are then provided with feedback
regarding "expert recommendations" and the rationale for such
recommendations. Questions are grouped into modules tackling issues
such as communicating with adolescents, handling conflict,
preventing drug and alcohol problems, and monitoring mental health
issues. Answers to the questions are based on best-available
current research evidence, including clinical practice. To ensure
the night is entertaining, fun modules dealing with youth culture
are interspersed throughout the program. These modules also serve
to highlight the importance of parents familiarising themselves
with their children's interests. To motivate participants, a
light-hearted competition is encouraged between tables and fund
raising can be organised by the school around the
evening. During the PAQ opportunities are provided to actively
involve parents in identifying behavioural strategies, creating
further modelling of parenting practices. It is believed that the
PAQ format might attract some parents who may otherwise not attend
a parent information night.
Educational principles underpinning the PAQ include interactive
learning (parental responses are followed by feedback and
discussion); and multiple learning mediums (verbal presentations
and visuals). The focus of the PAQ is to more widely disseminate
information, to demonstrate skills, and to increase the priority
placed on parenting in the secondary school years. Through the
evening, parents have the opportunity to compare their practices
with those of other parents and with professional recommendations.
Parents are advised of situations requiring further assistance, and
through negotiation with school welfare staff opportunities for
such assistance are made available.
The PAQ has been designed to provide a practical, evidence-based
approach to parent education for the parents of secondary school
adolescents. The PAQ is currently being trialed in a range of
government and non-government schools and has received very
positive consumer endorsement from school staff and parents.
Evaluation will assess whether or not the implementation of the
program realises the expectation of a broad cross-section of
parental attendance and engagement.
Toumbourou, J.W, Gregg, M.E., Davies, L., Carr-Gregg, M. The
Parenting Adolescents Quiz: Parent education in early secondary
school can be fun. Journal of the Health Education Association of
Victoria, 1999: Spring Edition: 6-9.
John Toumbourou firstname.lastname@example.org